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Visit these links to see cliffmama’s friends, associates, organizations and cliffmama in the press, as well as useful resources if you’re climbing at the Gunks.

Cliffmama in the Press

Friends’ websites

Climber Blogs by My Friends

  • Dierdre Wolownick – My good friend Dierdre started her climbing adventures in her late 50s and we met during one of her adventures to the Gunks, when she stayed with me for a week. Her background is in language instruction and she’s put her writing skills to work on her blog. She also has the proud yet un-envious position of being Alex Honnold‘s mother.
  • – Travel, gear, guidance and outdoor literature. By David Flinn, one of my college friends from the Syracuse University Outing Club back in the early 1980s.
  • Pat Ament – legendary pioneer of bouldering and prolific climbing author came to me looking for some help setting up an east coast tour of his film, The Disciples of Gill in 2010. I agreed and hosted him while we spent a number of days together driving around to various venues.
  • Chris Fracchia’s website – Chris is one of the climbers I know at the Gunks.  He has lots of awesome climbing photos and videos on his site. He’s also one of the developers for the Gunks Apps digital Gunks climbing guidebooks, and has a site devoted to beta on Millbrook climbing called
  • Stewart Green Photography: A freelance adventure & climbing photographer based in Colorado Spring and writer of many travel and climbing guidebooks and author of the pages on Climbing which includes his excellent and informative blog. Also an excellent host! What fun to climb with him, get all the beta of a living climbing guidebook and then have him take fantastic photos of me and even put a couple in his books. Twitter at @aboutclimbing.
  • Happiegrrrl’s Blog – My friend Terrie, who is a fixture at the Gunks during the season, and a fixture in Joshua Tree in the winter. She also runs a business, ClimbAddict, with climbing-inspired shirts and gifts, and Talisman Studios, hair accessories made from vintage buttons. Terrie is usually the first to volunteer for any event at the Gunks, be it trail building or trash pickup. Here’s an interview of Terrie on ClimbFind.
  • Eric Hörst – Training for Climbing – Eric’s best known as the expert in climbing fitness, as an author of well known books such as Training for Climbing and How to Climb 5.12, and has put up many first ascents. Eric sets a great example of how to include your children in your climbing life. His boys are up and coming rock stars and are starting to get publicity for their stout leads (His 10 year old has sent 5.13a!).  I met Eric at the crag when our kids started playing with each other and asked him to do a slide show for the Gunks Climbers’ Coalition. Our families have climbed together, but I’m not so sure his amazing child climbing prodigies are interested in doing moderate climbs at the Gunks anymore!
  • Katie Levy’s Adventure Inspired blog – A place for all who love to play outside! Katie found me through a friend on twitter, looking for information about where to stay at the Gunks. I just happened to be have a big party that weekend with many people tenting in my backyard, so I invited her and her friends to crash at my place. They were the perfect guests and I enjoyed their company.
  • Living Vertical – Gunks climbers Stephen Richert and his wife Stefanie embark on a mission to climb 365 days this year (2012) to raise awareness for diabetes.
  • Mountain Enthusiast – I met Steve Weiss on when he visited the Gunks in 2011 on The Most Epic Trip with Gina Begin.  I spent a day showing them around the Gunks. Unfortunately it was raining. But we went back to my house and some some excellent conversation.
  • Gina Begin’s 451 Blog – I met Gina in 2011 when, along with Steve Weiss, she was on The Most Epic Trip and passing through the Gunks. (See above)
  • Susan E.B. Schwartz – Climbing Magazine Reader Blog – Musings of your typical climbing mom. I met Susan when she was promoting her excellent biography of Hans Kraus, the Gunks pioneer, called Into the Unknown – The Remarkable Life of Hans Kraus.  She joined our family climbing group and we enjoyed getting out with our girls and even a chance to climb without them!
  • Vertical Challenge – My friend Brad is a climber in the Vancouver area.  What sets him apart from other climbers is that he is a quadraplegic.  And he climbed the Chief at Squamish.
  • Who’s next? Dear friends, if I forgot anyone, please remind me and I’ll add a link to your blog as soon as I find the time.


  • Chris Vultaggio, Vultaggio Studios: Chris is on the Gunks Climbers’ Coalition Board of Directors, and is an amazing corporate photographer, sent all over the globe on assignment for clients. He is the co-founder of the Our Land Collective, raising funds and awareness to protect Bears Ears National Monument.
  • Elizabeth Riley (RetouchRiley): Former Gunkie and a professional retoucher and portrait photographer in Boulder, Colorado.
  • France Menk: Assignment and stock photography – Gardiner, NY – France has spent many years working alongside me on the board of directors of the Gunks Climbers’ Coalition since it’s inception. She’s photographed both of my daughter’s bat mitzvahs.
  • Ben Fullerton – Fullerton Images: Adventure, Portrait and Studio Photography in Boulder, Colorado – One of those random occasions when a random tweet arrives about a guy who wants to take photos at the Gunks and I happen to be able to hook him up with Nicky Dyal , one of the most photographed women in climbing who was in town visiting her father. Ben wrote up a very nice account of the whole event in his blog.
  • John Okner Photography: John is a Gunks climber who captures the most stunning images of the Gunks and everything else he photographs. I’m so pleased to have two of his beautiful photographs in my home. A climbing one, and one of Millbrook cliff during sunrise.


  • The Gunks Climbers’ Coalition – The Gunks Climbers Coalition, established in the fall of 2002, is an advocacy group dedicated to creating and maintaining sustainable opportunities for responsible climbing along the Shawangunk Ridge and surrounding areas. I’m proud to be on the Board of Directors from the very beginning, serving as secretary, webmaster, mailing list coordinator, online publicity, Facebook page administrator, Twitter maintainer and anything else that happens online for the organization. You can become a member when you join the Access Fund by choosing the GCC as your local affiliate.
  • The Access Fund – The Access Fund is the national advocacy organization that keeps U.S. climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. Founded in 1991, the Access Fund supports and represents over 2.3 million climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing: rock, ice, mountaineering, and bouldering.
  • UlsterCorps – UlsterCorps connects volunteers with service opportunities in Ulster County, NY. Go to their website to check out the latest volunteer opportunities. Many of us in the Gunks climbing community try to help out at UlsterCorps events.


  • Rock and Snow is THE climbing store of the Gunks. They have all the gear you need and their staff can answer any of your questions. They’ve always generously supported the climbing community and their local community and it’s important to show them your gratitude by shopping at their store. They also have a fantastic 2nd store, the Annex, where climbers can buy and sell used gear. Check out their events calendar for their many free slideshows with climbing legends.
  • Looking for a climbing guide at the Gunks? Check out these fine Gunks guide services:

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